2014 Award Winners FAMILY FRIENDLY HOTEL OF THE YEAR 2014
Druids Glen Resort, Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow
Family-friendliness is increasingly important in Irish hospitality as more people prefer to choose the simplicity, relaxation and - if chosen wisely - better value, that airport-free home holidays offer. Our Family Friendly award is more highly valued each year, as times change; we look for the places that cater especially well for families by providing the range of services and activities for varying ages and interests that make for a stress-free break, preferably with leisure centres and other all-weather activities. While a surprising number of promising ‘family friendly hotels’ fail to come up to the mark (we send real families to assess our shortlisted establishments) the best family-friendly hotels are a very good option indeed - and they will reap the benefits for many years to come, with repeat visits from multi-generational family groups.
While UK and American golf visitors may be down in recent years, it’s a plus for families who have become a new priority for five star hotels and this resort has invested heavily to deliver an excellent secluded and gated playground, a new indoor playroom with toddlers’ zone and an older kids playroom where complimentary movies, console games and popcorn are available.
The aim is to provide opportunities for families to enjoy quality time together, so a kids' club is not offered; while this may seem to be a disadvantage to parents researching the options for a family break, it is more than offset by the quality of the amenities and activities offered, and it's an ideal base for forest walks and visits to nearby attractions.
Family packages are surprisingly keenly priced for a hotel of this calibre and there are numerous items built in which further ease the pain for parents. Alongside welcome packs and seasonal holiday activities there’s a special kids’ menu, for example, and children under 12 eat free. The restaurant also features a special kids buffet during school holidays, making a family break here good value and relaxing.
Impeccably trained staff are noteworthy for their friendly and helpful manner too, making this the perfect luxurious country escape for city families.
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